The affinity of mankind towards art has always existed since time immemorial. As man evolved, his bond with art also grew and in fact, laid the seed for the first form of expressive language – Pictography – a form of writing which uses representational and pictorial drawings. But before expressing himself through written or spoken language, man took to the walls to ‘speak’ his mind through distinct and elaborate strokes of daily life. Thus was born the prominent art form – Murals.
These large scale paintings applied directly to walls, ceilings, and other large flat surfaces are probably the oldest human art form. Cave paintings at Harappa, Mohenjo Daro and many other ancient human settlements stand proof of that. Since then it never saw a downside. During the Renaissance Era various art forms flourished mainly by the legendary works created by the likes of Michelangelo, Vasari and Leonardo Da Vinci. Most muralists produced artwork in multiple media, demonstrating a remarkable range of skills. The murals by Michelangelo adorning the interiors of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City depicting momentous events from the Christian Bible, never fail to strike people with awe.
The trend slowly shifted during the early 20th century as murals were often associated with political expression, one main example being the murals of Berlin Wall. Works during that period were focused on labourers, lives of the poor, and other daily life musings, a stark deviation from the highly religious murals of the Middle Ages. Many modern muralists follow the tradition of political expression and produce works on social issues. But the recent growing trend is on producing beautiful murals enhancing board rooms, corporate spaces, along with public buildings.
Murals are becoming a vital part of interior decoration. People in the fashion industry are considering painting their own portrait murals in their studios which make a bold statement about their persona and create a greater impact on their profession. There are professional muralists and illustrators one can hire to produce impactful paintings. In addition to art, murals can also be used to create a faux finish. Walls painted to resemble worn-out brick wall, or a statue with climbing plants, and a scenic sea view. These days many restaurants use indoor murals projecting a theme – an age-old historic festival, a rain forest and much more.
Murals are not just majestic artworks on walls. They are the voice of an entire community at large. They facilitate the inclusion of a broader point of view that previously couldn’t find their audience. They are stories that are part of our rich history and means of growing our cultural consciousness, building stronger connections between our past and present.
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